In Cambodia, the request of child and infants to overseas has been implemented since 1987 in according to the decision number 79 SSR dated 23 June, 1987 of the Council of Ministers. During that period, most of child adopters were staff of international organizations which were on mission in Cambodia. While the mission was finished in Cambodia, they asked adoption as their children of child and infant which they were deep sympathy.
On 20th July, 1989, the law on marriage and family were approved by the National Assembly and put for the implementation. In 1991, the Council of Ministers issued a guideline No. 549… dated 25 March, 1999 on working procedure on child adoption through law on marriage and family.
In 1997, there were strong interest on child adoption from Cambodia of people from France, America, Canada, Australia and Germany. Therefore, in order to strengthen the formality to be an international standard and it is an option for considering the most interest of a children, the Ministry of social affairs has cooperated and agreed to receive an expert from UNECEF help to prepare the procedure and formality to be more better.
In 1999-2000, the number of child adoption overseas has been increased, but it appeared the problem and irregularity because more and more foreigners who asked for the adoption have self-seeking for the children at infant centre and there were also some cope with people who worked for the centre, and some others expressed the bad behaviour while kept waiting long to get a child. During that time, there were also foreign agents were brokering for child adoption, they posts its brokering service on internet and charge commission fee from the adopter and there are also informal agents to receive the children on behalf the adopter.
Inter-country Adoption has been carried out in Cambodia since 1987. In total 3,696 (1,831 boys and 1,865 girls) orphaned and abandoned children have found international families through inter-country adoption. Children have been placed to France, U.S.A, Belgium, Canada, Italy, England, Sunluya, Poland, Seychelles, Malta, Finland, Spain, Greece, South Africa, Argentina, Germany, Holland, Australian, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, Sweden, Trinidad, Austria, The Philippines, Denmark, and Bermuda. Since 2011, Cambodia has been implementing a new inter-country adoption system based on the Hague Treaty for Inter-country Adoption and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.